California Prison Downsizing and Its Impact on Local Criminal Justice Systems

Joan Petersilia8 Harvard Law & Policy Review, June 30, 2014

California has embarked on a prison downsizing experiment of historical significance. Facing a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Plata, which ordered the state to reduce its prison population by 25% within two years, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Public Safety Realignment Ace (AB 109). Realignment transferred authority for large numbers of convicted felons from the state prison and parole system to the state’s fifty-eight counties.

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